Moldovan authorities, with UNICEF support, have successfully deinstitutionalized 83% of the 11,000 children in 67 residential institutions. Most of these children have been reunited with their biological families or placed in family-type care facilities. This is shown in the United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, presented today in Chisinau.
According to the study, Moldova is one of the countries that have achieved the highest level of deinstitutionalization for children placed in residential care facilities. Good deinstitutionalization practices were also observed in Georgia (97.7%) and Bulgaria (96.43%).
Other highlighted observations referring to Moldova are the need to seek alternative measures for the institutional confinement, and to ensure the effective implementation of existing non-custodial measures.
Representatives from the Moldovan authorities, UNICEF, OHCHR, and civil society who participated in the study presentation event have committed to redoubling their efforts in implementing the recommendations of the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty.
The recommendations include reducing the number of children in detention and applying non-custodial solutions; developing national action plans aimed to reduce the number of children in various situations of deprivation of liberty; and adopting a comprehensive deinstitutionalization policy by developing appropriate family-type facilities.
It is also recommended to ensure close inter-agency cooperation between the child welfare, social protection, education, health and justice systems, law enforcement, as well as the administration of migration and refugee policies; invest significant resources to reduce inequalities and support families to empower them to foster the physical, mental, spiritual, moral, and social development of their children, including children with disabilities; and invest in awareness-raising and systematic education of all professionals who work with and for children.
The Moldovan authorities should also establish effective child justice systems with special children’s courts, legal aid and adequate resources; stopping all forms of immigration detention of children, whether unaccompanied or migrating with their families; and improving detention conditions, including by ensuring that children have access to essential services aimed at their rehabilitation and reintegration into society.
The UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty is a comprehensive study initiated by a UN General Assembly resolution adopted in December 2014 undertaken by a wide team of experts worldwide.